|I hope you get as big a message out of
this as I did....
A teacher in New York decided to honor each of her seniors in high
school by telling them the difference they each made. She called each
student to the front of the class, one at a time. First she told
each of them how they had made a difference to her and the class. Then
she presented each of
them with a blue ribbon imprinted with gold letters, which read,
"Who I Am Makes a Difference."
Afterwards the teacher decided to do a
class project to see what kind of impact recognition would have on a
community. She gave each of the students three more ribbons and
instructed them to go out and
spread this acknowledgment ceremony. Then they were to follow up on the
results, see who honored whom and report back to the class in about a
week. One of the boys in the class went to a junior executive in a
nearby company and honored him for helping him with his career planning.
He gave him a blue ribbon and put it on his shirt. Then he gave him two
extra ribbons and said, "We're doing a class project on
recognition, and we'd like you to go out, find somebody to honor, give
them a blue ribbon, then give them the extra blue ribbon so they can
acknowledge a third person to keep this acknowledgment ceremony going.
Then please report back to me and tell me what happened."
Later that day the junior executive went
in to see his boss, who had been noted, by the way, as being kind of a
grouchy fellow. He sat his boss down and he told him that he deeply
admired him for being a creative genius. The boss seemed very surprised.
The junior executive asked him if he would accept the gift of the blue
ribbon and would he give him permission to put it on him. His surprised
boss said, "Well, sure." The junior executive took the blue
ribbon and placed it right on his boss's jacket above his heart. As he
gave him the last extra ribbon, he said, "Would you do me a favor?
Would you take this extra ribbon and pass it on by honoring somebody
else? The young boy who first gave me the ribbons is doing a project in
school and we want to keep this recognition ceremony going and find out
how it affects people."
That night the boss came home to his
14-year-old son and sat him down. He said, "The most incredible
thing happened to me today. I was in my office and one of the junior
executives came in and told me he admired me and gave me a blue ribbon
for being a creative genius. Imagine, He thinks I'm a
creative genius. Then he put this blue ribbon that says "Who I Am
Makes a Difference," on my jacket above my heart. He gave me an
extra ribbon and asked me to find somebody else to honor. As I was
driving home tonight, I started thinking about whom I would honor with
this ribbon and I thought about you. I want to honor you. My days are
really hectic and when I come home I don't pay a lot of attention to
you. Sometimes I scream at you for not getting good enough grades in
school and for your bedroom being a mess, but somehow tonight, I just
wanted to sit here and, well, just let you know that you do make a
difference to me. Besides your mother, you are the most important person
in my life. You're a great kid and I love you!"
The startled boy started to sob and sob,
and he couldn't stop crying. His whole body shook. He looked up at his
father and said through his tears, "Dad, earlier tonight I sat in
my room and wrote a letter to you and Mom explaining why I had killed
myself and asking you to forgive me. I was going to commit suicide
tonight after you were asleep. I just didn't think that you cared at
all. The letter is upstairs. I don't think I need it after all."
His father walked upstairs and found a heartfelt letter full of anguish
and pain. The envelope was addressed, "Mom and Dad." The boss
went back to work a changed man. He was no longer a grouch but made sure
to let all his employees know that they made a difference.
The junior executive helped several other
young people with career planning and never forgot to let them know that
they made a difference in his life...one being the boss's son. And the
young boy and his classmates learned a valuable lesson. Who you are DOES
If you have anyone who means a lot to
you, I encourage you to send him or her this message and let them know.
You never know what kind of difference a little encouragement can make
to a person. Send it to all of the people who mean anything important to
you, or send it to the one, two, or three people who mean the most. Or
just smile and know that someone thinks that you are important, or you
wouldn't have received this in the first place. Remember that! I give
you a blue ribbon.
WHO YOU ARE MAKES A DIFFERENCE, AND I
WANTED YOU TO KNOW THAT!!